The Best Stuff

So it turns out I'm writing an awful lot these days. If you want to get to know my writing in the least amount of time, these are the stories I recommend.

The Essentials

You've just gotta read these. They best define my "writing personality".

I have an obsession with war. It's one of those incredibly stupid human ventures, but it also brings out the best and worst in people, so it's great for examining character (and also being pretentious and surreal).

This one showcases my horror chops (which are still very much in development. I'm late to the game on this genre). I love me my angry beasts.

I love writing dialog and I think this one shows it off. Plus there are alien tripods walking around. During WWI.

This one combines a lot of elements I sort of focus on, and I think does it well, including a surreal situation, anthropomorphic characters, good dialog, and a moral dilemma. Forgive me if I've cribbed from Kafka (and the awesome Orkin commercials), but it's an entirely different context.

More Good Stuff

I'd put this in the essentials, but it's very long. It's actually hard sf, even though it seems sort of fantastical. I've always been annoyed with sf that portrays alien life as bipedal and anthropomorphic (which seems unlikely), so I lean towards imagining lifeforms that aren't like that.

Factory Day
This is one of my personal favorites, though not everyone seems to really get it. A lot of my stories revolve around the feeling of being trapped at work, being a drone or worker bee. Personally I think people are better off working in fast food, getting scalded by french fries than sitting a cubicle eight hours a day (unless you get to surf the internet for most of that time). This story examines that feeling in the extreme.

This one is a good example of using a dreamlike setting. It doesn't happen in a dream, but the plot logic is dreamlike. I'm fascinated with dreams and how they work, though I'm not really into dream symbology--I think that's a load of crock, since each dream is personal to the dreamer. You shouldn't have to dig to deeply to figure out what something in a dream means to you (and often it can just be garbage, since a dream is just the brain performing garbage collection on memories).

I love characters that aren't who they think they are. This story is also very silly, which is where my humor tends to settle.

Kids make great protagonists. We've all been one, so we know the experience well, even if we've sort of forgotten it. Kids often feel trapped and constrained, and seek freedom achieving experiences, and that's interesting to write about. They're also easily slip into using their imaginations (or a least I and the kids I hung out with were good at doing that--not sure about seemingly over-stimulated kids these days).

I'm a strong believer that it's not the Earth that needs saving, but rather human civilization. If climate change gets so bad that Earth ends up a second Venus, it will still be around, it just won't have us clinging to it anymore (or substitute any number of disasters). Occasionally I get on a bent about it, and it pops up in a story (usually unintentionally). I'm also obsessed with the far future--what will be happening to humans (if we survive our own dumbassedness) and the Universe, thousands, millions, even billions of years into the future?